Just a quickie this very busy Thursday morning as the food and wine world seems to be finally getting back online. I opened the above bottle of Selvapiana Chianti Rufina 2014 four nights ago and drank two glasses with dinner over the last three evenings. And man, the very last glass, which I paired with rotisserie chicken and a baked potato (dressed simply with extra-virgin olive oil, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked pepper), was the best of all. I was just blown away by how vibrant and how varietally expressive this wine was. It wasn’t just hanging in there on the third night. It was actually even better than the previous evening. What a great wine and what a great value… All things considered, for the price (around $17 in my market) and quality and availability throughout the U.S., this is one of my all-time top wines. Definitely in my top 5 for greater Chianti. It also paired gorgeously with Tracie P’s Neapolitan-style ragù on nights one and two. That’s all I have time for today… more tomorrow… Thanks for being here. Posted on January 12, 2017 by Do Bianchi - https://dobianchi.com/2017/01/12/best-chianti-classico-rufina/
Excellent scores by Monica Larner of Wine Advocate/RobertParker.com for Selvapiana wines in her article on the Chianti Rufina: Italy, Tuscany: Chianti Rufina (And Why the Region Should Consider a Name) Only a 30-minute drive northeast of Florence, Chianti Rufina is one of Italy’s most overlooked wine regions. Wild and rustic, Sangiovese vines (with other notable Tuscan grapes such as Trebbiano, Malvasia, Canaiolo and Colorino) are planted along the flanks of wooded hills with steep vertical drops and well-draining soils. Temperatures are a few degrees lower here on average compared to neighboring wine regions resulting in crisp and streamlined wines with delicate floral and berry nuances. The landscape is pristine and untouched. It recalls the best of Tuscany from a time before Tuscany was such a popular tourism destination. Despite its low profile, Chianti Rufina is indeed one of the oldest wine regions in Italy. Just a little while ago, it celebrated its 300th anniversary along with neighboring regions Chianti Classico, Pomino, Carmignano and Valdarno di Sopra. On September 24, 1716, the Granduca di Toscana Cosimo III drew the official lines that would set the lines for these storied appellations. Over the course of those three centuries, Chianti Rufina would emerge as one of the most productive wine hubs in Italy with a distribution network firmly in place across all major overseas markets. Its fortune would later decline and the region would become largely sidelined by the more prolific and sophisticated production power of Chianti Classico just next door. The Chianti Rufina appellation surrounds the historic railroad exchange at Pontassieve that once connected transportation lines between northern and southern Italy. Sangiovese-based wines were packaged in the iconic straw-wrapped flask, or fiasco, that would become a veritable symbol of Italian enology back when vino italiano was associated with easygoing, food-friendly wines to wash back with a plate of spaghetti and meatballs served on a checkered tablecloth at your favorite Italian-American trattoria. Millions of bottles were produced and distributed by rail across Europe and onto distant lands. Fruity, simple and acidic, the ruby-colored wine offered many Americans their first taste of Italian wine. In 1971, when the first super Tuscan wine Tignanello was produced by Piero Antinori, the hay-wrapped flask suddenly became a symbol of an old and outdated wine style. Chianti Rufina still has yet to fully recover from this image crisis, despite the impressive work and the important investments in the region today. On my tasting trip to Chianti Rufina during this special 300th anniversary year, I enjoyed the opportunity to exchange views with the producers and appellation officials. Our conversation focused on ideas that would help to re-launch and re-brand the region and distinguish it from Chianti Classico. How can Chianti Rufina get its groove back? This was the question on most people’s minds. Among the many ideas floated, one sticks out in my mind as an absolute no-brainer. There is a growing movement that favors changing the region’s name from Chianti Rufina to simply Rufina. It is my strong opinion that this easy name modification would bring many important benefits to the region. By shedding the name “Chianti,” the following objectives would be achieved: A more concrete identity for Rufina could be achieved by avoiding confusion with the Chianti Classico appellation and the larger denomination named Chianti. Rufina, Chianti Classico and Chianti would be viewed as three separate and independent wine regions. The name Rufina favors greater territorial identity. Rufina is a township in the province of Florence that includes the wine hub Pontassieve. Rufina is associated with a pristine and pure style of Sangiovese that stands apart from the denser and more extracted style of wine sometimes favored in Chianti Classico and elsewhere. The local blending formula reflects strict Tuscan traditions with other indigenous red and white grapes. Carmignano was once part of the greater Chianti region and was known as Chianti Carmignano. It changed its name from Chianti Carmignano to Carmignano and continues to enjoy the benefits of this change today. In other words, a successful model has already been set. Rufina could easily revive the celebrated hay-wrapped fiasco that was once at the heart of its international identity. If done with intelligence, Rufina could recreate this special indigenous packaging (that once required a cast of working women known as fiascaie to hand-assemble straw bottle exteriors) with the same stylistic ingenuity as the restyled Fiat 500 or the Vespa 50cc. I love the idea of a Rufina retro resurgence and I think consumers would, too. The bottom line is that Chianti Rufina’s wines are distinct from Chianti Classico, Chianti and the other appellations formally part of the greater Chianti territory in Tuscany. Its identity could be further developed with a simple name change. It seems to me that this would be a good place to start.
October 2016 Selvapiana tasting by jancisrobinson.com: Selvapiana Located in Rufina, Selvapiana has been owned by the family of Francesco Giuntini since 1827. In medieval times, Selvapiana was one of the watch towers along the Sieve river, built to protect the city of Florence to the north-east border. During the Renaissance, it became a summer residence for noble families and Florentine bishops. Winemaker Francesco Giuntini, who was among the first Tuscan producers to make a Riserva wine from 100% Sangiovese, was born on the estate and now runs the property, with consultant Franco Bernabei. The estate covers 245 ha (605 acres), of which 54 are under vine and the rest olive groves and woods. The vineyards primarily face west, though Selvapiana's prized Bucerchiale vineyard is south-west facing. The vineyards are situated at an elevation of 150-200 m (492-656 ft), with a clay and limestone soil. Selvapiana 2014 Chianti Rufina - 16.5 Stelvin or cork. Light ruby with brick edges. Perfumed with sweet cherry fruit. Lively and with a fine chalky texture. Refined texture, chalky but compact. Dry but not in the least drying. Classic restraint. GV (JH)13% Drink 2016-2020 Selvapiana, Vigneto Bucerchiale Riserva 2012 Chianti Rufina - 16.5+ Single vineyard. Bricky garnet. Inviting mature undergrowth aroma but still with sweet, vanilla-edged red fruit. Very fragrant. A little meaty on the palate, some spice, fine grained though still with some firmness to the texture. Dry, chalky finish. (JH)14.5% Drink 2016-2022 Selvapiana, Villa di Petrognano 2012 Pomino - 16 Selvapiana rent 6 ha of vines from the Fattoria di Petrognano. Mid ruby. Plenty of spice here, tangy red and black fruit. Firm, chewy but lifted by very nice freshness. Straightforward but persistent. Just starting to show some mature, dried-fruit flavours on the finish. (JH) 14% Drink 2016-2019
Decanter August Issue Selvapiana Chianti Rufina 2016 Tasting by Michael Garner, Emily O'Hare, Monty Waldin.
A fresh and clean wine with dried berry, light chocolate and mineral aromas and flavors. Medium to full body, crisp finish. A liveliness and length that Rufina delivers. Lovely brightness. Drink now. Score: 92 Country: Italy Region: Tuscany Vintage: 2013 Date: October 29th, 2015
Irene Virbila, wine columnist for Los Angeles Times, recommended both Selvapiana and Coltibuono in today’s article highlighting six Chiantis to pair with a variety of dishes. Please see below for a link and extracted text. Thanks! http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-chianti-wine-20151028-story.html 6 Chiantis to drink now. Think wine for pizza, even Middle Eastern food Chianti can be a great wine to drink with pizza, spicy meatballs and even Middle Eastern food. If you find yourself longing for pasta fagioli, pappardelle in wild boar sauce, or arista -- Tuscany’s roasted pork loin scented with rosemary and garlic -- maybe it’s time to lay in some Chianti. The Sangiovese-based red from Tuscany goes, of course, with Tuscan food. But it’s also versatile enough to work with California, Mediterranean and even Middle Eastern cuisines. Need a pizza wine? Or one to go with spiced meatballs? Try a Chianti Classico or a Chianti Rufina. And don’t worry about buying too much of a good thing. A year or two more in bottle will only improve this Italian red. In Tuscany, Chianti is very much an everyday wine, poured from a pitcher into tumblers. We've collected a handful of Chiantis, some priced for every day, others not so much, but all are worth laying in for fall and winter drinking. 2013 Fattoria Selvapiana Chianti Rufina Selvapiana is one of the best estates in Chianti Rufina (a subzone of Chianti), and consistently turns out first-rate Sangiovese-based reds. A deep ruby in color, the 2013 Selvapiana Chianti Rufina is a classic, tasting of dried cherries and plums, mushrooms and herbs. A great everyday red to keep on hand for pasta nights and grilled skirt steak or pork chops. Some of the excellent 2012 is still around, too. Look for it at K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, Manhattan Fine Wines in Manhattan Beach, the Wine Country in Signal Hill and the Wine House in Los Angeles. From $16 to $17.
A very interesting article on Chianti and a great rewiew for Selvapiana. Emily O'Hare reports on Chianti and Chianti Classico: " Tha catalyst came in 2006, a tasting of Chianti an Chianti Classico (an important distinction, of which more later) from a selection of top names - Isole e Olena, Fontodi, Selvapiana. I was surprised by the quality and complexty of the reds I tried - the brillance of their colour, their transparency." "The seventh sub-zone is Chianti Rufina, northeast of Florence. The soil is the same galestro as in the Classico zone, and the vineyards sit on the lower slopes of the Apennines, where they enjoy hot temperatures during the day and benefit from cooling breezes coming down from the mountains at night. Rufina is the smallest, yet the most famous - and arguably the finest - of the seven sub-zones outside the Classico area. The wines combine the elegance of those from Radda (in Chianti Classico), with the concentration of the wines from the lower part of Greve. And they will age as long as any wine from Gaiole." Read the article
James Suckling latest review SELVAPIANA TOSCANA FORNACE VINTAGE: 2011 SCORE: 92 TASTING NOTES A bright and silky-textured red with dried berry, dried mushroom and mahogany aromas and flavors. Full body, fine tannins and a fresh and vivid finish. Tangy and crisp. A blend of cabernet sauvignon and sangiovese. Drink or hold.
Fantastic review for Selvapiana Chianti Rufina Vendemmia 2013: "93 Selvapiana 2013 Chianti Rufina. Elegant and fragrant, this opens with aromas of pressed rose, crushed violet, wild berry and a whiff of baking spice. The vibrant, focused palate delivers juicy red cherry, raspberry, white pepper, cinnamon and dried herb. It’s well balanced, with supple tannins and bright acidity. Drink through 2018. DallaTerra Winery Direct. Editors’ Choice. —K.O. abv: 13% - Price: $18" Download Article